CF Day 17 – Sahagún to Reliegos

But it wasn’t over. It seemed the camino flu had rested too, and now it returned with a vengeance! I woke up in a cold sweat at stupid early in the morning, with a blistering headache and a dreadful feeling that something was seriously wrong. I tried to drink water but couldn’t hold it down, and pretty soon I couldn’t even move without feeling sick. This after a moderate intake of alcohol the evening before, so I knew it had nothing to do with that. This felt the camino flu #2, but worse.

We met many who’d suffered from it further along; some of them blamed unsafe water, some blamed bad food, some assumed they were just worn out and easy prey for any viruses. I knew some on the pilgrim forum suggested the symptoms are very similar to norovirus which could be doing the rounds among pilgrims who live and sleep in close quarters. After that night I think they could be right. If so, only rest and rehydration would help.

But again there was no chance of me walking. The Scouse Spouse had cleverly asked yesterday’s taxi driver for a card, so we rang him and asked him to pick us up, drop my luckily unaffected husband where he picked him up the day before and take me to our booked room in Reliegos. They were open for check-in from ten, so I was OK with getting there a bit early.

Even driving past it seemed like a gruellingly long walk! Kilometre after kilometre of straight senda path with young trees at regular intervals to the left. I remembered it well, and was sad to miss it, but I had to concentrate on not being sick in the taxi. In 2012 it looked something like this:

When I got to Reliegos, home of the famous Blue Bar, Elvis Bar, Bar La Torre – whatever you prefer to call it – the lovely people who ran the place let me in before time. None of the rooms were ready but they said I could lie down on the sofa for now. The lady was worried about me and said she would make me some rice and vegetables cooked in chicken stock later, most sick pilgrims could eat that. I was so grateful, bought an Aquarius to rehydrate a bit and then fell asleep on their sofa for two hours!

When I woke up, my room was ready, and I went straight back to sleep there instead. Then I got up and sat in the garden, where I met some nice Australian ladies and talked to them for a bit. The landlord had just made tortilla and gave me some while it was still warm, and the eggy potato and crusty white bread was just what the doctor ordered. The Scouse Spouse rang to say he was on his way and that he was walking with the multinational camino family we met in Boadilla, so I went out and met them for a (soft) drink. They were moving on, so who knew if we would meet them again – they were heartbroken that the Blue Bar was closed, as having a drink there was on their to-do list, and rightly so!

Later we went there and met the South-Africans for a drink, and I have to say it was good to be back. I have good, good memories from the last time I spent an evening there, though it ended with my boots being cruelly locked behind a garage door in my hostal the next day (long story). The owner now has a small TV in the corner showing the film The Way on a loop, which we thought was a bit sweet and also odd (this could be said for the bar as well), and suddenly we heard a gleeful shout from behind the bar: “Mi casa! Mi casa!” The owner pointed eagerly at the TV, and there it was – the very establishment we were sitting in flickered past the screen and we all cheered and toasted the proud owner of the famous Blue bar/Elvis bar!

I wonder how many times he watches that film in a day, let alone a week …

Suitably refreshed we then went for a meal. Considering how ill I was at the start of the day, I was amazed that I was hungry! This time it really felt like I was over the camino flu – but I still kept my fingers crossed. Next stop was León, where we would have a day off, and I was determined to rest up well and get my strength back for the last part of our camino.

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